Fighting "Speeding Tickets" in Nevada
(NRS 484B.600)

Exceeding the speed limit in Las Vegas is a "moving violation" that carries a $205 fine and at least one (1) demerit point. And the fine doubles if the speeding occurred in a work zone or a school zone. But it is often possible to get speeding tickets dismissed or at least reduced to a non-moving violation carrying no demerit points.

People who are cited for speeding must not avoid taking care of their ticket. Otherwise a Nevada judge will issue a bench warrant for their arrest, and the driver may be taken into custody at any time.

In this article our Las Vegas traffic ticket attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about speeding in Clark County and throughout Nevada, including ways to fight the citation, possible sentences, demerit point consequences, and record seals wait times. Click on a topic below to jump directly to that section:

If you have been injured by a speeding vehicle, you may be entitled to hefty money damages. Contact our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys to learn more.

Speeding
Most speeding tickets in Nevada can be reduced to a non-moving violation carrying no DMV demerit points.

1. What are the speeding laws in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Nevada mandates four common-sense speeding laws. It is illegal to drive:

  1. at an unreasonable speed considering the traffic, weather, and highway conditions;
  2. at a speed that could cause injury, death, or property damage;
  3. at a speed greater than a posted speed limit; and
  4. in any event, a speed of greater than 80 miles per hour.

Las Vegas Metro and the Nevada Highway Patrol are on especially high alert to bust drivers going above the speed limit in school zones and work zones. Note that people who speed significantly over the limit may face the more serious charge of reckless driving.

Also note that many traffic lights in Las Vegas are now mounted with surveillance cameras and speed sensors. So even if a driver is speeding safely on an empty road, he/she will likely receive a traffic ticket summons in the mail containing photographic evidence of the speeding.[1]

1.1. Can I speed in rural areas in Nevada?

Speeding in rural areas is not legal in Nevada. But in some situations a speeding driver in a rural area will be charged with a non-moving violation instead of a moving violation. And non-moving violations carry a much lower fine. See question 3 for fine information.[2]

2. How do I fight charges for speeding in Las Vegas, Nevada?

The best defense strategies for fighting a speeding ticket on the merits depend on the facts of the case. The defense attorney would investigate and analyze the situation from every angle...

Perhaps the police's speed radar was defective. Or perhaps the cop mistakenly thought the speed limit was lower than it actually was. Or perhaps the cop falsely accused the driver of speeding due to a sinister ulterior motive. Either way, the defense attorney would search for evidence that would chip away at the state's case such as:

  • surveillance video,
  • photographs, and/or
  • eyewitnesses

Note that it is rarely necessary to extensively litigate a speeding ticket charge in order to get a charge reduction or dismissal. Most prosecutors are willing to lessen the charge without much negotiation as long as the driver does not have a criminal history.

3. What are the penalties for speeding in Las Vegas, Nevada?

A first-time offense of speeding one to twenty-one (1 - 21) miles over the speed limit in Las Vegas carries a $205 fine. A second-time offense carries $230.

Speed 20speed

Outside of Las Vegas, the fines for speeding varies throughout Nevada from county to county and city to city. As a misdemeanor, speeding theoretically carries up to $1,000 in fines and/or up to six (6) months in jail. However it is exceedingly rare for a judge to impose incarceration for a speeding violation.

Note that speeding in a work zone carries a double fine.[3]

3.1. Penalties for speeding in rural areas

Speeding in Nevada is a moving violation that carries demerit points. But in the following circumstances, exceeding the speed limit during daylight hours in rural areas is a non-moving violation carrying only a $25 fine:

  • The posted speed limit is 60 miles per hour and the person is not exceeding a speed of 70 miles per hour.
  • The posted speed limit is 65 miles per hour and the person is not exceeding a speed of 75 miles per hour.
  • The posted speed limit is 70 miles per hour and the person is not exceeding a speed of 75 miles per hour.
  • The posted speed limit is 75 miles per hour and the person is not exceeding a speed of 80 miles per hour.
  • The posted speed limit is 80 miles per hour and the person is not exceeding a speed of 85 miles per hour.

Note that the above exception does not apply to Clark County and Washoe County when:

  • The road is in an urban area, or
  • The road is adjacent to an urban area and has been designated by the public authority that established the posted speed limit for the portion of highway being traversed as an area that requires strict observance of the posted speed limit to protect public health and safety.[4]

4. Can I get a charge for speeding reduced to a non-moving violation in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Usually, yes. In the vast majority of cases, Nevada traffic judges are amenable to lessening a speeding charge to a non-moving violation or possibly dismissing it. However, defendants who have a long history of traffic offenses may have a tougher time persuading a prosecutor to cut a deal.

5. How many points will speeding put on my driver's license in Las Vegas, Nevada?

The number of demerit points the Nevada DMV will put on a person's license for speeding turns on how fast he/she was going:

  • Speeding one to ten (1 - 10) miles above the posted speed limit carries one (1) demerit point.
  • Speeding eleven to twenty (11 - 20) miles above the posted speed limit carries two (2) demerit points.
  • Speeding twenty-one to thirty (21 - 30) miles above the posted speed limit carries three (3) demerit points.
  • Speeding thirty-one to forty (31 - 40) miles above the posted speed limit carries four (4) demerit points.
  • Speeding forty-one (41) or more miles above the posted speed limit carries five (5) demerit points.

(Note that people charged with reckless driving will have eight (8) demerit points added to their license.) 

A demerit point stays on a person's driver's license for one (1) year. If a driver's license accrues twelve (12) or more demerit points, the DMV will suspend the driver's license for six (6) months.[5]

Speed 20desert

The demerit point system is one reason why people charged with speeding are encouraged to hire an attorney to try to get the charge reduced to a non-moving violation that carries no demerit points. But if someone does have his/her license suspended, it may be possible to contest the suspension in a DMV Hearing, which is similar to a trial. Drivers with suspended licenses are encouraged to hire an attorney to request the DMV hearing and represent them at the proceeding.

While a person's license is suspended in Nevada, he/she should try never to get behind the wheel because the consequences can be harsh. Driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor in Nevada that carries up to six (6) months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.[6]

6. Will speeding in Las Vegas, Nevada increase my auto insurance rates?

Yes. It may not happen right away, but insurance companies almost always hike up insurance rates whenever the insured picks up a speeding ticket or other moving violation. Predictably, the more traffic tickets the person has, the higher the premiums will be.

Insurance is a major reason why it is worth it to try to get a speeding ticket lessened to a non-moving violation, which usually has no effect on insurance premiums.

7. Do I have to do traffic school if I get cited for speeding in Las Vegas, Nevada?

It depends on the case. Judges are more likely to order mandatory traffic school when the defendant's alleged speeding was very high, such as forty-one (41) miles over the speed limit. But in many cases, a defendant can avoid traffic school just by paying a fine.

Note that many speeding ticket defendants choose to do traffic school as a way to get a charge reduction. Completing Level 1 Nevada Traffic school within five (5) days of pleading guilty to speeding will usually cause the speeding violation to be lessened to a non-moving violation. Non-moving violations are much better to have than speeding tickets because they carry zero demerit points and do not look as bad on the person's criminal record.[7]

8. What happens if I ignore my ticket for speeding in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Consequences are serious. If a speeding ticket defendant misses court or does not pay a fine on time, the judge will immediately issue a bench warrant. When a person has a bench warrant, he/she can be arrested at any time and held in jail (possibly with no bail) pending the resolution of the speeding ticket case...

It is highly unlikely police will go out and hunt down people with bench warrants for skipping out on a traffic ticket. But if a person with a bench warrant ever gets pulled over, the cop will run his/her name and certainly take him/her into custody. So people accused of speeding should always take care of the ticket in order to avoid getting a warrant.

Speed 20odometer

If a speeding ticket defendant does get a bench warrant, the defendant should hire an attorney to try to recall ("quash") the warrant. This involves filing a "motion to quash" with the court and having a court hearing. Barring extenuating circumstances, the attorney should be able to show up at the hearing without the defendant having to appear.

Note that the Nevada DMV may suspend a person's driver's license if he/she misses out on a court appearance. When this happens, the defendant's attorney would ask the judge to issue an "FTA clearance." The defendant can then take this clearance to the DMV to reinstate the license.[8]

9. How will speeding affect my commercial driver's license in Las Vegas, Nevada?

The DMV will add the same number of demerit points to the persons' commercial driver's license (CDL) as it did to the person's regular driver's license...

So if someone was convicted of speeding 10 miles over the limit, the DMV will add one (1) point to the person's driver's license and one (1) point to the person's CDL. It does not matter if the person was driving a non-commercial vehicle at the time of the speeding.

Note that CDL-holders are obligated to notify their employer about getting a speeding ticket within thirty (30) days of the citation.[9]

9.1. CDL Suspension

It is a "serious offense" under federal law for a CDL-holder to drive a commercial automobile at 15 miles per hour or faster beyond the speed limit. Committing two (2) "serious offenses" within a three (3) year period results in a 60-day CDL suspension. A third offense results in a 120 day CDL suspension.[10]

10. What happens to my out-of-state license if I sped in Las Vegas, Nevada?

The defendant's home-state DMV will most likely treat the defendant as if he/she was ticketed for speeding in the home state. Every state has its own demerit point policies. So out-of-state speeding ticket defendants should consult with an attorney in their home state to discuss demerit point consequences. 

11. When can I seal a speeding conviction in Las Vegas, Nevada?

People convicted of a speeding violation have to wait one (1) year after the case is closed before they can petition the court to seal the speeding record. (Note there is also a one (1) year statute of limitations to seal non-moving violations.)[11]

But if the judge completely dismisses the speeding charge or the judge acquits the defendant at trial, then Nevada imposes no waiting period before the defendant can commence the record seal process. In short, there is no waiting period when there is no conviction.[12]

12. Will I get deported for speeding in Nevada?

Speed 20birdseye

No, speeding is not a deportable crime. But out of an abundance of caution, non-citizen defendants should always seek out an attorney experienced in both criminal defense and immigration law. The attorney will know how best to proceed to safeguard the immigrants' resident status. Read more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Nevada.

13. Should I fight my speeding citation in Las Vegas, Nevada or just pay the fine?

It is highly recommended that traffic defendants try to get their speeding tickets reduced to a non-moving violation or dismissed outright. An attorney can help them do this. If successful, no demerit points will be added to the defendant's driver's license, the defendant's criminal record remains clear of any moving violations, and the defendant's car insurance premiums will not increase.

14. Can I go to trial for speeding in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Speeding ticket defendants who wish to go to trial may request a bench trial but not a jury trial. A bench trial is the same as a jury trial except that there is no jury, and the judge is the one who delivers the verdict. If the judge determines that the prosecutor failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was speeding, the judge will acquit the defendant.

Note that speeding ticket trials hardly ever happen in Nevada. In most traffic cases, the defense and prosecution negotiate a resolution to the defendant's benefit.[13]

15. Do I need an attorney if I got a speeding ticket in Las Vegas, Nevada?

It is never required to hire an attorney for a speeding ticket, but it is highly recommended for the following reasons:

  1. In practice, prosecutors give better deals to defendants with attorneys than to defendants without legal representation;
  2. Defense attorneys are skilled in negotiating and litigating ticket cases to get the charges reduced or dismissed; and
  3. Defendants who hire attorneys to handle their traffic tickets never have to come to court (in the vast majority of cases). This is particularly advantageous for tourists and other out-of-town defendants as well as anyone who has day jobs and cannot easily take off work.

And if the defense attorney succeeds in getting the speeding ticket dismissed, the attorney will be in the ideal position to immediately pursue getting the record sealed.

15.1. Las Vegas Justice Court "attorney sessions"

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Las Vegas Justice Court holds "attorney sessions" where prosecutors and defense attorneys can negotiate en masse traffic tickets issued within the unincorporated areas of Las Vegas (which includes most of the Strip). Therefore when someone with a speeding ticket retains a lawyer in Las Vegas, the lawyer should able to deal the ticket within the week by going to an attorney session. 

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Call our Las Vegas traffic ticket attorneys at 702-DEFENSE for a FREE consultation today.

Speeding ticket? Call a Nevada criminal defense attorney...

Were you pulled over for speeding in Nevada? For a FREE consultation, call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673). We will fight to get your ticket dismissed or reduced to a non-moving violation with the smallest fines, zero demerit points, and no traffic school.

Were you or a loved one injured by a speeding driver? You could be entitled to substantial money damages, even if you may have been partially to blame. Our Las Vegas car accident attorneys have a long track record of winning compensatory damages to cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of future earnings, and more. And you pay nothing unless we win.

Also see our related article on failure to yield to a cyclist.

Legal References:

  1. NRS 484B.600; Nevada DMV Violation Codes; the Nevada DMV refers to speeding as Speeding, Violation Code 240 or ACD Code S94.
  2. NRS 484B.617.
  3. NRS 484B.600; NRS 484B.130; NRS 484B.135.
  4. NRS 484B.617.
  5. NAC 483.500; NAC 483.510; Nevada DMV Violation Codes.
  6. NAC 483.764.
  7. See, e.g., Traffic School Information, North Las Vegas Municipal Court; Las Vegas Justice Court Traffic School.
  8. NRS 173.155; see, e.g. motion to place on calendar to quash the warrant at Las Vegas Justice Court; Nevada DMV Suspension.
  9. NAC 483.500; NAC 483.510.
  10. 49 CFR §383.51.
  11. NRS 179.245.
  12. NRS 179.255.
  13. Sixth Amendment.

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